Marzano’s 6-Step Vocabulary Process

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Marzano’s 6-Step vocabulary process is based on the research-based premise that students need multiple exposures to words as they increase their vocabulary. Recent research suggests that students may need as many as 4 – 14 – or 40 exposures.¬† A bit of explanation – 4 exposures are needed for those students who have a broad vocabulary, 14 exposures may be necessary for many students as they acquire new words, and 40 exposures may be necessary for those students who are English language learners. Teachers select words mindfully and reinforce word learning through instructional activities that incorporate the 6 steps.

The 6-Step Process 

  1. The teacher provides a description, explanation, or example of the term.
  2. Linguistic: Students restate the description, explanation, or example in their own words.
  3. Non-linguistic: Students construct a picture, pictograph, symbolic representation, or act out the term.
  4. The teacher extends and refines understanding of the word by engaging students in activities that help them add to their knowledge of the terms in vocabulary notebooks.
  5. Periodically ask students to discuss the terms with one another.
  6. Involve students in games that enable them to play with the terms and reinforce word knowledge.
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